Learning Hypnosis: A Common Everyday Approach After Erickson
Having been a fan of Rob McNeilly for some time and experienced some of his past trainings, I must admit that I may be somewhat biased in my review of his latest work, ‘Learning Hypnosis: A Common Everyday Approach After Erickson’. Anyone who knows Rob will back me up when I say that he has such a wonderful, personable and conversational approach to his work and that this same conversational tone is what makes his written work so engaging and enjoyable. In fact, I became so engaged with reading this book on my tram and it was only about an hour later that I realised I must’ve left my umbrella behind. Given that it was an overcast and wet day, I truly hope someone made good use of it!
The beauty in this delivery is that it means many truly useful and worthwhile pieces of information are conveyed without us necessarily recognising just how insightful they are. I often found myself returning back to a paragraph as I read this book to soak in (or marinade, as Rob would say) what was being offered, to reflect upon how this could be useful to me and to those I may work with in future.
Rob spends the first half of the book exploring how he sets up a session with a client and his wonderful, client driven way of ‘inducing a hypnotic state’. I have to say at this point that when I was first taught this method by Rob, my confidence as a hypnotist went up immediately. It was a light bulb moment that took the responsibility of inducing trance away from me and allowed me to become fully present on the client instead. With that mislaid sense of responsibility removed, I was able to be there more fully for my client and to actually ‘have some fun’ with this instead. Since that time, I would argue that many of the best sessions I’ve had have come from using Rob’s techniques. One should never underestimate just how remarkably effective these are.
Rob also spends another part of the book to discuss ‘hypnotic phenomena’ and explores just how ‘every day’ these actually are. When discussing how ‘time flies when having fun’ or that shared experience we’ve all had at some point of walking into a room and completely forgetting why you’ve gone there, he is able to demystify some of the ‘big words’ used within clinical hypnotherapy textbooks and to make it more accessible, related and, most importantly, re-useable. Utilisation is always at the heart of the Ericksonian approach and Rob’s work highlights this fact repeatedly in the most wonderful and elegant of ways.
Rob finishes off ‘Learning Hypnosis’ with a section that focuses on more clinical applications; a section that he admits he almost decided to leave off. I’m glad that he hadn’t as he scatters stories of his own client experiences throughout the book, and in much the same way Rosen’s excellent work on Erickson, ‘My Voice Will Go With You’, these examples truly highlight the application of that point in more detail. It helps to colour in the outline of the point to make it feel even more alive and accessible again.
Regardless of how adored Rob is for being an absolute gentleman, it would make little difference if what he presented and taught was ineffective. The fact is that Rob’s approach is remarkably effective and, while it comes across as deceptively simple, the devil is definitely in the detail. What Rob’s approach does do is allow the hypnotherapist to focus entirely on the client, aware that they’ve come with the solution to their problem within them, and allows the relationship to be more collaborative and focused on exploration. As Rob says, “When we ask someone what they like about what they like doing, it’s like a window into their soul. We have a very intimate glimpse into who this person is at core and often that glimpse is not only for us. Sometimes the client is so touched by that that it can make a huge difference, just to make that connection.”
You can also find a tonne of Rob McNeilly content on Youtube.
May the learning continue.